The Courts Hop Into Bed With Big Brother

AshcroftNot only is Big Brother watching, but Big Sister, Mom and Dad, and the Neighbor Down the Block...

In what can only be described as a horrific assault on individual privacy, an Appeals Court in Massachusetts just ruled that e-mail is not subject to the same privacy laws that govern telephone conversation, regular mail, or other forms of communication.

That’s scary enough as it is, but the reality is that because the court used a rather narrow technical loophole as its rationale — the data is “stored” on a computer between when it is transmitted and when it is received — expect this argument to be applied to more traditional communications systems as well, as technological advances (IP-based telephony, for example) blur the lines between old and new methods.

That psycho John Ashcroft has got to be jumping for joy right now.

Update: This Post editorial says it more eloquently than I, but with no real mention of the “creep” into more traditional communication methods. Maybe I’m thinking too much about the possibilities, but I’d rather be wary than careless.


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